When I was a small boy in Sweden many years ago, the Swedes were emphatic. At movie theaters where American Westerns were being shown, signs proclaimed “Barn Förbjudna” or “Children Forbidden.” That was the first Swedish I learned. The Swedes were trying to protect me from the very mild violence in American Westerns of that era. But I was not happy with a steady diet of Walt Disney pictures featuring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. At six years old, I thought that I was more sophisticated than that!
Fast forward almost seven decades and the Swedes are today far less protective of children, especially sixteen year old autistic girls like Greta Thunberg, whose Asperger’s syndrome makes her very vulnerable to exploitation. Her parents and many others promoting the climate religion find her a very convincing advocate for their cause. They have scared her to death, not with American Westerns, but with American climate hysteria. And she has gone forth throughout Europe and now America to proclaim her fears and accuse adults of stealing her future with man-made Global Warming. It would be very sad, if she had not become such a hardened and sometimes nasty advocate at the still tender age of 16.
How much better off she would have been if her heroes had been cowboys like John Wayne, Gary Cooper, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, William Boyd, Clayton Moore, and Jay Silverheels. They were mine.
With ever more examples of children used as pawns in adult battles, perhaps it is time to ask if this is wise? Should children be constantly propagandized and told to go forth and harangue others for the benefit of adults who want political power? Or would it be better to treat children as a precious resource that needs to grow into responsible adults who are able to think for themselves?
We do try to protect children from adult issues like drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, and sex. And we once thought that they should not be frightened with adult issues that they have no hope of understanding, like nuclear war or climate change. Yet we have now allowed it to happen. And the consequences have been devastating. Not only are children growing into adulthood without critical thinking skills but they are also battling depression and taking their own lives in greater numbers, fearing that they have no future.
Propagandizing children is widespread and clearly a grim form of child abuse. To me, it is criminal, especially when administered by our public school system. Teachers justify the abuse by pretending to teach “our values.” Translated that means their politics and their pseudo-religion, in place of the traditional values of honesty and citizenship. Lost somewhere in the process are the skills that we once thought necessary for children to learn, like reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Instead of allowing children to take a day off from school, as part of a Leftist ‘Climate Strike,’ how much better it would have been to teach them the simple truth about our climate. There is no pending climate catastrophe of any kind. NONE! We are not about to burn in hell. That is just an adult nightmare, visited upon children.
The carbon in food that we and all other living creatures burn to produce energy results in perfectly natural carbon dioxide that is then converted by plants and sunlight back into a vast array of life, in the greatest recycling effort the Earth has ever known. This is the ‘Carbon Cycle’ that literally keeps all life going on this planet.
When we ride in an automobile or fly in an airplane, they too burn carbon, exhaling what we exhale: carbon dioxide and water vapor. With modern engines burning fossil fuels cleanly, there is very little noxious pollution. Carbon dioxide and water vapor are the benign byproducts of our civilization and far from pollution. Calling them pollution is one of the greatest lies that adults have ever told.
BUT are carbon dioxide and water vapor warming our climate? They are both strong “Greenhouse Gases.” So the answer is “Yes!” Unfortunately devious adults want children to think that we are responsible for the warming, when we are really, really small players compared with Mother Nature. She (not we) provides the vast majority of atmospheric water vapor by ocean evaporation.
She also provides the vast majority of atmospheric carbon dioxide via the carbon cycle and via ocean outgassing. If “outgassing” is too big a word, think about what happens when you open a Coke, and let it warm up. It goes flat as the carbon dioxide fizz departs or “outgasses.” Our oceans are not that carbonated, but they are much larger. Where the water is warm in the tropics, it gives off lots of CO2, and where it is cold in the polar regions it absorbs it. Ocean currents provide a vast conveyor belt for CO2, moving it toward the equator as other currents move equatorial heat toward the poles.
But what about additional warming from man-made CO2? Has anyone been able to spot human-caused CO2 warming? The short answer is “NO!” Despite many claims to the contrary, the human component is so small that it cannot be distinguished from natural variations. But we have been able to identify a human component to warming around cities and the weather stations located there. It is called the “Urban Heat Island Effect,” and reflects the fact that growing cities hold the daytime heat far better than natural areas do. Hence, nights especially are warmer in cities. This has nothing to do with carbon dioxide.
Older grade school children may be able to understand some of the very deliberate fraud that climate fanatics have visited upon us. When I was still in grammar school, I was fascinated by a short course in “How to lie with numbers.” It taught two very important lessons, that adults often try to deceive each other and how they do it with graphs. It was a perfect primer for the US Government’s National Climate Assessment – 2018.
To make the point that the “Earth’s climate is now changing faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities,” the NCA-18 uses graphs such as Figure 1 showing US Heat Waves. Indeed, they have been increasing since 1960. But why do you suppose they chose to start the graph in 1960? We have such records going back to 1900, as Figure 2 shows.
Lo and behold, the complete data set shows that heat waves were far worse in the first half of the 20th century than they are today. Even though they have recovered a bit since the low about 1960, they are no worse than they were in the early 1900s and far less severe than in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
Failing to point this out is fraud.
Again we reach the same conclusion. Failing to show us the entire record is deliberate fraud.
Are children capable of understanding this? I think they are. We should give them the opportunity.
Always shoot straight with children. They deserve nothing less.
Gordon J. Fulks lives in Corbett and can be reached at email@example.com. He holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago’s Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research and has no conflicts of interest on this subject.